Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The sound of GenEd

A friend of mine told me that the highlight of the AAC&U Gen Ed Boot Camp was a talent show and I didn't believe her. Worse, I recoiled in horror. Now I'm a believer! It's a hard-working few days as teams pull together action plans in consultation with experts and conversation with people from other colleges and universities. As we go back to our home institutions we are primed to expect every variety of resistance and indifference, but have been persuaded that what might carry us through is our own enthusiasm, and the esprit de corps of this meeting, where, for a brief transcendent moment, the broader aims of education take center stage. There is something surreal about it - the last being first and all that - so a knowingly dorky talent show is a fitting end.

Each team either recites some limericks or performs some custom-made piece. The highlights were adaptations of "The night before Christmas" and "To be or not to be" - two of each, and filled with the jargon and acronyms of teaching, learning and assessment discussions! - and updates of two songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The evening ended with our institute faculty leading us in the anthem above. What I'll remember was "How do you solve a problem called assessment?" with its tender ending (sing it!): How do you hold an outcome in your hand?

No comments: